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New indoor, year-round, multi-sport academy near Carbondale ready to open doors to athletes

Austin Colbert
For the Post Independent
Aspen High School lacrosse coaches Amanda Trendell, left, and Tommy Cox are ready to open Elite Performance Academy, seen here on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, a new indoor athletic training facility near Carbondale that is scheduled to open Oct. 1, 2020. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

The turf is down. The weights are here. Even the website and Instagram are up and running. About the only thing left for Elite Performance Academy owners Tommy Cox and Amanda Trendell to do is get athletes inside their new facility and start grinding.

“We are excited to finally put it to use and get out on the field with athletes. We are pretty much itching to get behind the passion of the project,” Trendell said. “We can’t wait to get all the kids out on the field and work with them and provide them with a high level of training they maybe haven’t seen before.”

Cox and Trendell are both former Division I athletes from the East Coast who currently coach the Aspen High School boys and girls lacrosse teams, respectively.

On Oct. 1, they will officially open the doors of Elite Performance Academy, a year-round, indoor sports training facility located just off Highway 82 near Carbondale.

With 5,000-square feet of turf, EPA will cater primarily to lacrosse and soccer at the start, but with hopes of expanding to other sports in the future.

“Right now lacrosse and soccer are kind of the heartbeat of what we know we can offer and deliver really high-level training on,” Trendell said. “We have partnerships in the works right now that we are really excited to move forward with. I think it’s just going to be an inclusive community space.”

On top of the turf space, which is surrounded by safety netting, EPA has a full compliment of equipment for weight training and cardio. They have everything a coach would need for practice, from balls to cones, can offer up nutrition advice for athletes and even have the ability to record practice sessions for technical analysis and to help students with recruiting videos.

The space is available for rent, whether for private training sessions, group practices or independent leagues.

“We are trying to make this elite,” Cox said. “The community really came together to help us build this. It showed us that what we are doing is meaningful to the community.”

The idea for the facility came from the mind of the late Michael Goerne, who founded the Aspen Lacrosse Club as well as the AHS boys lacrosse program, leading them to the 2015 state championship as its head coach.

Goerne died Feb. 16, 2019, in an avalanche while training for a backcountry ski race. Cox and Trendell inherited the idea of creating an indoor training facility, something sorely lacking in the Roaring Fork Valley, and set out to complete Goerne’s unrealized project.

One inside wall of the EPA facility has the phrase, “Do what you love, and do it often,” with a dedication to Goerne below.

EPA will have its grand opening this weekend. From 5 to 9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, those who RSVP can tour the facility, win prizes and enjoy complimentary food and drink. The indoor turf will officially get its first athletes Oct. 1. All COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

“The biggest thing we can say is, ‘We did it!’” Trendell said. “We sat down in June and decided to pull the trigger. We’ve had a lot of people in the community help us and we’re really thankful for that. Because without all of the people who have been here helping and putting in hours with us, this definitely wouldn’t be an Oct. 1 opening. So we are definitely excited that it was just a big team effort.”

For more on EPA and to RSVP for the grand opening, visit eliteperformanceacademyco.com or email info@eliteperformanceacademyco.com. They can also be reached by phone at 970-963-5535 and found on Instagram @epa970.

acolbert@aspentimes.com


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